Spironolactone is a ‘fringe’ drug for hair loss. Although not as commonly used as finasteride or minoxidil, spironolactone has caused serious concerns due to the frequency and severity of side effects experienced by those who take it.
A branded product is available called Aldactone, however generic spironolactone is also available and the drug is widely sold on the grey market online. Many sources lead back to China and India, as well as the United States.
One thing is certain – no doctor or medical professional in the developed world should recommend spironolactone as a solution for hair loss. Although there is evidence to suggest the drug can help to prevent hair loss, the risks are far too high, higher even than the risks commonly associated with finasteride.
This drug was never intended for hair loss prevention. Spironolactone is actually a potassium-sparing diuretic that stops the human body from absorbing excess amounts of salt, whilst keeping potassium levels in check. It is also used to treat fluid retention in people with heart failure, liver cirrhosis, nephrotic syndrome and hypokalemia.
What are the potential side effects?
This is the real issue, because side effects experienced through Spironolactone usage can be varied, long lasting and severe.
Side effects include nausea, recurrent headaches, low blood pressure, shortness of breath, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, tremors, confusion, difficulty urinating and the development of painful rashes. In severe cases, spironolactone usage can result in jaundice, breast growth in men and permanent damage to the testicles.
No-one wants to lose their hair, but there are some risks that simply aren’t worth taking. Although drugs like finasteride could be considered a viable option (although those considering finasteride should read this post), spironolactone is by all accounts, a step too far.
What about topical spironolactone?
Please note the views expressed in this post refer to oral spironolactone. Topical spironolactone is also available, for more information please see this video.
For more information about spironolactone, please see the following links: